Manchester Food Give-Away

April 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
With unemployment above 17 percent in Fresno county and even worse in other parts of the valley, people are looking for any way to feed their families.That's what brought thousands out to Manchester Center today. "voy a necesitar"

Volunteers scrambled to organize 5-truck loads of food Saturday. Meanwhile, about 2-thousand people, some of them waiting for hours, lined up to collect it....a box many say will feed their family for a couple of weeks.

"Right now, everything is difficult, there's no work, there's no money, it's hard." Martha Alvarado took her son to Saturday's food giveaway.

She says surviving these tough economic times is difficult, but that it's given her and her family a greater sense of appreciation for things they used to take for granted. "It feels really good cause today I give my son, he saw he was going to get marshmallows and yogurt and he got really happy so that's good."

The Fresno Rotary Club raised eight-thousand dollars to pay for the food. But donations kept pouring in, giving them the opportunity to help everyone in line. David Leon says, "We are very thankful to the Fresno Food Bank of Fresno because basically even though we raised money, they provided us with more than sufficient food to give away."

Organizers say the number of people who attended Saturday's food giveaway is not surprising. The state's unemployment rate is at a record 11-point-2 percent, but here in the valley, the numbers are even worse.

Lupita lomeli says, "They feel humiliated, but you know why they're in line because right now, there's no jobs, there's nothing they can do and they need to feed their families."

The Fresno Rotary Club also organized another food giveaway today in Madera.

They say the need in this community is growing, which is why they're hoping community groups will continue to sponsor food giveaways, like the one held here today.

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